MADISON, Wis. (4/16/14)--CUNA Mutual Group is administering a new multiple-employer plan (MEP) for credit unions providing 401(k) programs to 100 employees or more.
A MEP is a single plan adopted by a group of employers that has a common interest but does not have common ownership. By comparison, a single-employer plan covers employees of one employer, or several employers that are part of the same related group of employers.
CUNA Mutual Group's Credit Union Retirement Plan Association 401(k) Plan became available Jan. 1.
"This is the first national MEP designed exclusively for credit unions and their affiliates," said Paul Chong, CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions senior vice president. "When the U.S. Department of Labor published its Advisory Opinion in 2012 on open MEPs that they are not single ERISA plans, we worked hard to come up with a solution so credit unions could get the full benefits of a MEP, including not having to do an annual audit of their plan."
A MEP is ideal for employers with 100 employees or more, Chong said. Advantages include:
- Elimination of annual plan audit expenses;
- Reduction of an employer's fiduciary responsibility; and
- Elimination of annual Form 5500 filings by individual employers.
"The plan administrator appointed by the association is responsible for the annual audit of the MEP, so credit unions can save audit costs, which typically run from $5,000 to $20,000 per year," Chong said.
To be a member of the association, an employer must be a member of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Affiliates of CUNA members, such as wholly owned CUSOs and credit union leagues, are also eligible to join the association. There are no association membership dues.
The plan offers index-based investment options and features CUNA Mutual Group's RetireOnTarget guidance system at no extra cost to all participating employers under the plan.